Manner in which referenda are held

The Resolution approving establishment of the Assembly outlines five topics to be considered by the Assembly. The fourth of these is the manner in which referenda are held.

Once consideration of the topic by the Assembly is completed, it will produce a report and make recommendations to the Houses of the Oireachtas.

Schedule of Meetings

It is a matter for the Assembly to structure its work programme and agree a date for consideration of this topic. At the private session during the September meeting, the Members agreed to switch the order of the Assembly's remaining two topics, fixed term parliaments and the manner in which referenda are held respectively.

The Assembly will now consider this topic on 13-14 January 2018. A calendar of all the Assembly's meeting dates is available to view here

Work Programme

When the resolution approving the establishment of the Assembly was being moved in both Houses of the Oireachtas, Minister English stated the following in relation to this topic:

“That said, we will ask the citizens' assembly to make recommendations to the Dáil on further constitutional changes, including on the eighth amendment, on fixed-term parliaments and on the manner in which referenda are held, for example, whether super referendum days, whereby a significant number of referenda take place on the same day, should be held.”

The full text of Minister English's speech can be read here

The Chair and secretariat, in consultation with the Expert Advisory Group, continue to develop a work programme for this topic taking account of the Minister's comments. 


The submission process on this topic is now open. The Assembly is interested to hear what citizens and advocacy groups have to say on this topic. For information on how to make a submission click here.

Background Material

The following materials may be useful when considering this topic - 

Referendum Commission 

The Referendum Commission is an independent body that explains the subject matter of a referendum proposal, promotes public awareness of a referendum and encourages the electorate to vote. It is open to the Minister the Environment, Community and Local Government to appoint a Commission any time a referendum is held. More information about the Referendum Commission is available on their website - .

Every Referendum Commission to date has published a report following the referendum. These reports are available to read below: 

Documents Published by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government

The Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (previously the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government) has produced a number of documents in this area, including:


Once completed the Report by the Assembly will be available here.

Video Archive

The Citizens’ Assembly will be live streamed and therefore available for the public to view. 

Following this meeting, archive footage will be able to view here